Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Horses Help the Children, So Can You

Horses have a well-documented role in reaching troubled and challenged kids, giving them simultaneously freedom and a bond of camaraderie in return for responsibility and kindness.

ONE Spirit encourages and supports Lakota Sioux programs involving kids and horses. The Big Foot Ride just completed is an example of this. Please consider helping ONE Spirit make participation in events like this possible for more kids.

The following thoughts from Mona Brave, whose nephew completed this ride, speak to the critical need for these kinds of programs.

"During the week of December 22nd through December 29th, 2008, our family had the awesome experience of participating in the Si Tanka Wookiksuye. My nephew, Cyrus participated in the ride and we supported him throughout the ride in hopes that things will begin to change for him. He has experienced a lot in his thirteen years and our prayers as well as his were to not only pray for all our relatives but to pray for him as well. As many people know, alcoholism, drugs, social problems from these issues are rampant across the reservation. The problems associated with a mother who drinks while pregnant has a lifetime effect on a child. It has been my experience to try to deal with these effects and it has been a real struggle. It makes me wonder just how many of our sacred children across the reservation are experiencing these effects and who is helping them if even they are getting help. We have gone through traditional ceremonies and counseling sessions and it is an everyday struggle to try to cope and to try to understand not only for my nephew but also for our family as it has affected the entire dynamics of the circle of life. It is our hope to combat these issues even if it is to make an impact on one person and that is my prayer for my nephew. Cyrus loves riding horses and had a great experience while on the Big Foot Ride. He said he was anxious everyday to ride and to feel free. He met a lot of different people and had a chance see the “world” in a new perspective. I strongly believe that equine therapy will be a new avenue of seeking help he so desperately needs. The belief of our people is that we are one with the winged, the four legged, the plants and so it is with this in mind that I want for Cyrus as well as other children throughout the reservation to be able to experience this oneness. It is my prayer that children throughout the reservation get help for issues they are dealing with and go back to our traditional ways of life. My prayers to friends and relatives, near and far."

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